Thursday, May 6, 2004


(Jackson, Miss.) -- Governor Haley Barbour today signed four pro-life bills with legislators and members of the pro-life community in attendance. He is expected to sign two more by the day’s end.

“With this slate of bills I am happy to say that we have exceeded all expectations – so that Mississippi is very possibly the single safest place to be an unborn child in America today, said Governor Barbour. “I said during my campaign that if we’re ever going to end the tragedy of abortion, we have to start by changing hearts and minds one at a time. I think this is a good start.”

Governor Barbour also thanked legislators who were key in passage of the bills – Senator Travis Little, Senator Alan Nunnelee, Representative Robinson, Carmel Wells-Smith, Representative Fillingane, and Representative Smith.

The four bills signed during the ceremony were Senate Bill 2869, House Bills 352, 1525, and 1612. The Governor is expecting two more bills to arrive at his office this afternoon – Senate Bill 2619 and House Bill 1038. Together, these bills lay the groundwork in Mississippi for a pro-life climate that is truly loving and respectful of every unborn life.

Senate Bill 2619 – the Mississippi Health Care Rights of Conscience Act – gives health care payers, providers and institutions a right not to participate in procedures that violate their conscience. This is the single most expansive conscience exception law in the nation. Until today, Mississippi was only one of four states not to provide any protection for the rights of conscience of health care providers. Governor Barbour made a commitment to getting this legislation passed in his ‘State of the State’ address and today, he made good on that promise.

Senate Bill 2869 makes killing a fetus at any stage of development homicide; House Bill 352 makes killing a quick but unborn child a cause for a wrongful death lawsuit – together, Senate Bill 2869 and House Bill 352 help establish the legal framework than an unborn child is a living being entitled to all the rights and legal protections of a human.

House Bill 1525 requires doctors to file a full report for all injury or death that is a result of having an abortion. House Bill 1612 requires that if a child is born as a result of a failed abortion, it must be given medical attention to keep it alive.

House Bill 1038 requires that abortions be performed in a fully equipped ambulatory surgery center after the first trimester.

Finally, Senate Bill 3077 – which would have created a $5000 tax credit for the fees and costs associated with an adoption – was noticeably absent in the spate of bills today because it died in the House.

“We who are pro-life have an obligation to promote other choices, like adoption,” said Governor Barbour. “It is a shame that there are more abortions in Mississippi each year than there are adoptions – and I intend to push for reviving the adoption tax credit next year.”


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741